Report states that too few specialist dementia nurses speak about death
Nurses must be instilled with greater confidence to speak about the terminal nature of dementia with patients and carers, researchers have warned as a new study shows too many professionals are avoiding the subject.
The research, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found that three out of five specialists from memory services did not routinely tell family carers that dementia is a fatal condition.
Memory clinics assess and diagnose dementia and provide information and support to patients and those who look after them at home. They are usually staffed by a multi-disciplinary team including doctors, specialist dementia nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists.
The study found that, while health professionals routinely talked to families about legal arrangements such as finances (74%) and referred to dementia as being progressive (89%), just 41% routinely discussed the terminal nature of the condition.
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